A Snowdrop Sunday at Hedingham is a perfect opportunity to get out and about in Essex. If you have been struggling with a bit of the tail end of winter in your Chigwell, Loughton or Woodford home a trip into the Essex countryside could do you the power of good.
On Sunday 24th February between 11 am - 4 pm Hedingham Castle is open for one of its Snowdrop Sundays. Adult tickets cost £8.50, over 65s £7.50, children (between 5 and 18) £6, under-fives are free. There are also family tickets for £25 and a one adult family tickets cost only £17.50.
Hedingham is an impressive castle which is fun to visit but in early spring, the ancient landscape around Hedingham Castle is particularly magical. It is blanketed with magnificent drifts of snowdrops. The areas were planted with at least thirteen different varieties in the nineteenth century. Many say it makes the Castle’s winter gardens possibly the most romantic in the East of England. Snowdrops cover the steep slopes of the motte and bailey and set off the remarkable trees and lakes in front of the Georgian Mansion House.
If its castles you are more interested in there is an iconic 110 foot Norman keep which will appear and vanishing through breaks in the trees above you as you explore the snowdrops. But you can then take a closer look at the Horrible History of Hedingham starting with the Romans, through Saxon Britain to The Norman Conquest which was bad news for the Saxons. Hedingham was ‘given' to Aubrey de Vera, a Frenchman, by William the Conqueror, his brother in law.
The history continues with details of the Civil War in England when Robert de Vere took up arms against King John to make him sign the Magna Carta. On to a visit in 1509 form King Henry VIII where he reportedly hurled a hambone at the Jester - Jonathan de Hadleigh the 1st - and composes Greensleeves by the lake!